A night out on a date is a much-needed break from studying and you need them as often as you can. Economics can be absorbing and intense on its own. I welcome any opportunity to get away from the books and the theories and enjoy a nice meal by candlelight. Students don’t always have the luxury of romantic interludes—who has time?—so they can be few and far between such that an occasional dinner out becomes a major treat.
It is unusual enough to become the subject of a blog, in fact. I have to report a recent experience that was extra special to me, and it came at just the right time. I had been writing papers and reading new material that was difficult to absorb, and my brain was pretty overloaded. I also had been neglecting regular meals and exercise. When asked out for a restaurant dinner, I jumped at the chance. I actually put on some decent clothing, sparse in my wardrobe to be sure, and added a touch of makeup to the mix.
I was taken to a local French bistro known for its ambience. I had not been and was relishing the menu choices. This would be a far cry from my usual fare, and anticipation reigned supreme. Upon arrival, I noticed that the main dining room had a wonderful wood stove strategically placed for most guests. I gave my date that knowing gesture. I wanted to be seated right in front.
The maître d’ accommodated us to my great joy. The flames beckoned with all their enticing glory. It was cold outside and the warmth wrapped around me like a cozy cape. It was not too hot; but just right. Eating here was going to be the highlight of the year. It was going to be a night to remember, but for reasons other than the usual suspects.
I was not disappointed. The hearth added a lot to an already fine dinner. We had a divine coq au vin, a green salad served after the entrée in true French style, and a wonderful pasty dessert. I wanted to linger and ordered café at the end of the meal. My date was happy as a clam, but not as much as I was seated before a blazing fire.
What is it exactly that is so magical about a fireplace and a few logs? Since most students don’t have one in a rented apartment, it becomes a symbol of sorts. It stands for extravagance, comfort, ease, and contentment, among other things. Sure it provides warmth, but it is so much more than that. A fire is a breath of warm air, a provider of sustenance not akin to food. It is a focal point when it exists and a beacon of light. In short, it is just right for what ails you at most any time.
You can even have a gas log, mighty convenient, and still feel the fine effects of a fire. Your unit can be large and elegant or small and compact. As long as you get to sit entranced once in a while, it doesn’t matter the size.